My Sad Prediction Comes True

Normally, anyone would be happy if their prediction came true.

I would have been too, if my prediction was the positive kind.


When I made this prediction, it was with a sad heart. But I had to make it because it was overflowing from my mind and my heart. There was no way I could stop the thoughts. But of course, I did not tell anyone. Years later, when I found someone who had the intellect and the heart to understand, I told him.

This was my prediction – ‘If the boys of the current generation don’t get their act together, they are not going to get any girls to marry them. Also, girls of the next generation are going to fiercely oppose getting married’. To my surprise, he replied that in the coming years, ‘marriage as an institution is not going to survive. It will die.’

Around 10 years later, now, the trend is very much happening. At least, in my home state of Kerala (the most literate state) in India. I had always been observant of how much work the women of my generation (I am 50 plus now) and the previous ones did. The menfolk have a good time, and get hot food on the table or wherever they sit. If he washes one dish or spoon, he is appreciated by his family, especially his mother. 

I had that thought of not getting married when I was of marriageable (?) age. I was happy – had a job, and the freedom to do what I liked, even if not all activities were approved by society or family. The society, but more than that, my family, was not liberal enough to grant me the boon of staying single. At that point, I could not for the life of me, understand how someone can marry a stranger. This reminds me of this mockery I saw somewhere on social media. It goes like this.

‘It’s weird that your parents ask you not to speak to any stranger while traveling or otherwise, but they happily give your hand in marriage to a stranger and ask you to spend your entire life with him’. I understand that the parents do it with a lot of apprehension. Really, I get it. It takes a lot of courage for the parents also to arrange a marriage. Secretly, did they want their daughter or son to find someone on their own?

I have no idea. Now that I have crossed 50 and my daughter has crossed 22, I have begun thinking (not dreaming) of her getting married. Secretly, I wish she finds out on her own. This is because I have no clue about who will suit her the most. I generally know what kind of person she is. How can I ever ‘know’ the boy if I meet him only once? Especially with the Genz generation, they have a mind of their own. I cannot be sure that they will get along. That way, you cannot be sure of any couple. So, for the moment, I have left it to destiny.

My parents were brave and so were many other parents of the same generation. That was the way it was. It was normal. And of course, the women would ‘adjust’. Now, the world has become a more twisted, untrustworthy place and hence my apprehension is big. 

Divorce is becoming the norm as more and more girls get educated and are aware of their talent, rights, and the opportunities they might miss out on. No wonder, they do not want to fall into the trap of unending chores. I remember a distant relative of mine, a young girl of 17 (this happened about 8 years back), asking her parents a pointed question. The question was – “so you want me to get married so that I can cook and wash in someone else’s house?’

Bravo! For such a young girl to hit the nail on its head. I do not know what the parents replied to her. In all probability, she is married by now. I have to check that out.

I guess there is no easy way out of the concept of marriage till some other kind of institution is created and people accept it wholeheartedly. For the time being, we have to live with it, for good or for bad. To each, his or her own, I guess.

Meanwhile, I have to wait till the time for my daughter to get married comes. I am not too particular that my daughter should get married. The sky is not going to fall down if she does not. Yet, I do not want her to spend her life alone. Having a good companion in ‘joy and sorrow’ is so much better.

My home state still has the mindset of the old (golden?) era. Every girl child goes to school. Yet, society seems to think that the primary purpose of a girl’s life is to get educated, then get married to keep house for a man who has (most probably) been brought up in a privileged manner. It does not matter even if she is the head of a space station.

On the other hand, the boy has never had to lift a spoon ever. His mother and father taught him (mostly by example) to be a man, and that it is alright to feel entitled. And this could be one of the reasons why dowry is still in prevalence. Unless girls protest dowry, the malice will continue. I did protest when such a thing happened to me. But that is a story for another time.

On social media, I recently heard an outlier (a man) say how women give dowry and accept enslavement. In general, when these kinds of social issues pop up on different platforms, I read the comments to understand where society is heading.

At times, it is heartening, but most of the time, it is not. Of late, some men have started commenting on ‘feminist’ issues, supporting women. I suppose they realize that the women’s movement cannot be stopped and they will probably sound outdated and caveman-ish. Society is changing bit by bit and I look forward to more men feminists (the ones who think logically and support the idea that women should get equal opportunities). That is what feminism is - to abide by the Constitution, for democratic treatment. Not a war against men, but to be by their side and make lives better for themselves and others.

More on entitlement…why would an ‘entitled’ chap then, when grown up, not hang on to the privileges he has enjoyed since childhood? He would expect his wife and kids to totally listen to him and carry out his instructions (not necessarily decisions).

Now, the woman, if she is educated, might have a mind of her own and that is most likely, thanks to herself. It has got less to do with the background. Yet, she will do all the chores and housework, along with her job, without any complaint for she wants her house to be peaceful. If she is a self-respecting woman, she will get frustrated. No one understands that she wants a career of her own. Most assume that she should be happy with the never-ending chores. How can the society decide for every woman? Each one is different. Is that so difficult a theory?

There are girls who do not find this arrangement unfair and they might protest. The society and the family will then be up in arms against her. They will probably watch her every move, give unsolicited advice, and see to it that she does not have a peaceful life until she succumbs to the unfair norms of society.

Why doesn’t society bother a young man who is unmarried? They are scared because he could retaliate. There is something that is very noticeable in the behavior of a boy and a girl when they are young. Generally, it is difficult to get a boy to do anything that is against his wishes. On the other end of the spectrum, a girl is easy to brainwash. At least, that is what everyone wants to believe.

As a low–hanging fruit, she is always plucked.

Why is she allowing others to do this to her? Why can’t she put her foot down?

Generally, it is not easy because she does not want to let anyone down. She would rather put herself in trouble than do it to others. That mentality is taken advantage of very easily. In general, she does not realize that others might take advantage of her. But that is exactly what happens.

Am I drifting away?

Back to my prediction story.

A few years back, when I started seeing the trend of girls turning away from getting married, I was happy and sad. These feelings were for the girls, the boys, and society, as a whole.

Everyone has a stake in the society. When a marriage is successful, it benefits the society. The kids from the marriage are brought up well, most likely. And when those kids marry, there is a higher chance of them becoming successful. And so on…

What if there is no institution of marriage? For argument's sake, let us just consider the scenario. Society might become chaotic for there is no discipline. Anyone can spend time, money, and their life with anyone. There has to be some sort of structure within which some amount of flexibility is allowed so that no one lives an unhappy life on account of marriage. It is quite possible that getting married to an incompatible person can make one miserable. Now, you see, why I am apprehensive of my daughter getting married.

Please do not think I am being completely negative. I see the new generation of boys (old enough to be my son) a bit more understanding. I feel (could be wrong) those boys whose mother is working, have a better chance of understanding the difficulties of being a working mother. If she raises the son in a progressive manner, he is likely to become an understanding husband later on in life. The father cannot be a silent spectator and has to pitch in as well. If we are raising girls to be good wives, why are we not doing that with the boys to become good husbands? 

Marriage is not a one-way affair, isn’t it? It does take two to tango.

The audience for this piece, according to me, should be the current parents and the youngsters who are dreaming of a ‘happily ever after’. Mind you, it does not come without effort on both sides. The ‘scope of work’ within a marriage has to be discussed prior to getting married. Just as you would know what your role and scope is in any job that you get into. I have no intention of taking the ‘romance’ out of marriage. Nor am I encouraging anyone to stay single.

Probably, this topic should be discussed over the kids’ growing up years, bit by bit. Then, I believe, the concept gets clearer for them. Compare this to the story-telling sessions you had with your child. Some stories had to be repeated for months together because the child can only grasp so much at any point. Keep the communication line open - the onus is definitely on the parents. Considering marriage as a taboo topic is foolish. 

One or two counseling sessions a month just before getting married is far from sufficient. In fact, it is overwhelming and some may get cold feet. Most will manage since the stories portrayed in media and books romanticize the institution so much that the ‘dream is larger than the fear’. And they take the steps forward.

I hope this piece will be read by some youngsters before they get married. I am not advising everyone to find their partner but if they are, it has to be in a responsible way. 

Some of you will find a partner when you fall in love. I understand that. When that happens, you cannot be blamed because it is a feeling that you probably cannot control. It is love, after all, the most pleasant feeling.

Yet, take your brain with you.

After thinking about this for many years, I have come to the conclusion that when you have to make decisions related to the heart, talk to your brain, in an honest manner. Crucify yourself, if you have to. It will be worth it. The reverse is true when rational decisions are taken, Consider what your heart wants. Do not be swayed by emotions or pragmatism alone. It could lead to disasters.

I am not advising youngsters to fall in love in a calculated manner. Then it is not falling in love. Falling in love is termed ‘falling’ before you can do anything about it. Yet, the ‘rationale’ should catch up soon.

Remember, when you are getting married, you are taking a vow to make yourself and the other person happy for life with each other…till death do you apart. Now that is a big responsibility, isn’t it? Let us know what you think in the comment section below. If you want us to publish your opinion piece, send it over to

Usha Menon

With over 25 years of experience as an architect, urban designer, and green building consultant, Usha has been designing sustainable, and visionary spaces. She has published a book, has been actively blogging, and is on social media. Now, her journey is transitioning to full-time writing. Her words will continue to craft stories, not brick and mortar, but in the realm of ideas, fostering a better, more inspired world.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Latest from Opinion